How RRARF (Rehabilitative Rest and Aggressive Re-Feeding) is Going For Me 2 Weeks In

This is sort of how I feel on RRARF

If you don’t know what RRARF is (Rehabilitative Rest and Aggressive Re-Feeding), I suggest getting caught up by reading this article first which explains what this is and why. If you don’t, this one probably wont make much sense :)

Anyway, RRARF has been going okay, but mostly not too great. It’s had some positives (my stomach troubles I had on GAPS, and prior to, are pretty much gone!), but it’s had negatives – I feel terrible in a different way! I have constant brain fog, lethargy, and tiredness (something I didn’t have on GAPS, or much of before this). And I’ve kind of lost my appetite.

Matt Stone says that it’s normal to feel crap in the beginning of this as your body gets used to the higher carbs, but feeling bad all the time – much worse than I felt before GAPS or RRARF – is stressing me out which seems a bit counter productive.

I explain in this video (and also what I’m eating): 

As promised, the things I forgot to say in the video:

  • Other negatives: my body temperatures still seem to be all over the place, and my feet are still often very cold. I don’t seem to be making much improvement here, as far as I can tell.
  • As excited as I was about the caveman regimen really doing great things for my skin, and keeping it nice even throughout all this diet stuff, I obviously went and spoke too soon. I seem to have started breaking out a bit more than normal as of yesterday (although, admittedly, still pretty minor). It’s probably from all the crazy blood sugar swings, and the stress too :(
  • Hmm…. I don’t know what to do. I want to keep going for thirty days and not be a quitter again, but I’m really not enjoying this. The constant tiredness and lack of appetite (yet having to eat) is really getting me down. Part of the reason RRARF seemed so appealing was because the message is to “throw out dieting”, and eat as much as you want, whatever you want, from all the food groups and macronutrients, and repair your fearful relationship with food. And I guess for some people that’s what RRARF epitomizes. But for me, I am finding that I still feel like I’m on a diet that has rules (eat a lot! eat a truck load of starch!), and absorbing the same amount of stress from it.
  • My mind worries that I am being premature again and quitting before I get the benefit, especially because it’s not like it’s a two year commitment like GAPS – it’s only a month! – but my body is saying “Go back to your WAPF/paleoish diet that you were eating before, but with more starch then you were eating, because that seems to help your stomach, and at least you felt pretty good on that and not like a zombie like you do now’. So maybe that’s what I should do, because I realize now by comparison that I was pretty happy with that way of eating!

I’ll figure it out eventually. At least I’m learning what’s not working for me. And I feel very pleased that I’ve figured out lack of starch seems to have something to do with my tummy troubles. 

photo by Sean Drellinger

55 Responses to How RRARF (Rehabilitative Rest and Aggressive Re-Feeding) is Going For Me 2 Weeks In
  1. Annemarie
    May 23, 2012 | 12:17 pm

    Well, well. Youre right, you will figure it out sometime, but its just the figuring out part… honestly, I think you should just relax.. basically eat like you are, (all the food groups, including grains if properly prepared), but maybe just less? And the whole diet thing.. just do whatever makes you feel like you are NOT on a diet. I think if you are following someone else diet, even if its not a “DIET” you still are going by someones rules, and not so much your own.. whether you should stick it out or go back to your old ways, I really don’t know. But eating all that food makes since why you would be tired, the more you eat the more energy it takes to go through with digestion! I guess he thinks you will eventually get used to it and it will even out.. I don’t know!!

    It’s all about he journey!

    PS your skin looks great as always as far as I can tell.. of course its just a video so maybe I can’t see it as well, but gosh, I wish my skin looked as good as yours, even when you think it doesn’t look great!! Lol at least you have gotten through the acne, I haven’t even made it that far.. :)

    • Tracy
      May 23, 2012 | 12:30 pm

      haha my skin was good when making this video (the other day), but it just kind of suddenly started breaking out a bit that day. It’s all relative though… the breakout is still so minor, but it’s just COMPARED to what it was… I know I put too much pressure on myself about it… I just get scared :(

      Anyway… I agree. I still feel like I’m playing by someone else’s rules, and the rules are still infiltrating the thinking part of my head instead of allowing me to truly just listen to what my body desires. It’s so hard to separate the thinking part and the feeling part though!! we’re so bombarded with messages about what’s right and what’s wrong in the food world. I totally want to quit because I dislike being tired, but on the other hand – my head says…… it makes sense you’re tired! …. how to separate them… I don’t know. At least I have learned something though (the starch/stomach thingy, which I’m not sure I ever would have figured out if I hadn’t experimented)

  2. Hamed
    May 23, 2012 | 12:26 pm

    Go Paleo. Eat vegetables (no fruits, no grains) and animal protein (meat, liver, offal, egg, raw cheese).

    • Tracy
      May 23, 2012 | 12:26 pm

      Yes, but see, paleo without starch was giving me heartburn and stomach troubles

      • Primal Toad
        May 23, 2012 | 3:57 pm

        I’ll say more in another comment but I think you were listening to the wrong people when you were eating Paleo before… I say don’t limit at damn thing. Forget macronutrients.

  3. amy
    May 23, 2012 | 1:04 pm

    hey tracy
    i think you should stick with it till the end but maybe eat a bit less fat and more carbs because fats can make you loose your appetite (i find)..your ratio is probably a bit off. maybe check on something like mynetdiary.com
    also i think that starch helps soak up and excess acid in your stomach which is why it helps putting it back in your diet.
    by the way – do you find yourself still bloating on this diet?

    • Tracy
      May 23, 2012 | 1:09 pm

      Yes, I am still bloating… my tummy definitely isn’t flat. I realize that I’ve kind of always been somewhat bloated, but never paid much attention to that unless it actually hurt. It’s something that has never really gone away or changed on any of the diets I’ve ever tried

  4. Noémie
    May 23, 2012 | 1:07 pm

    I think you should go back to your normal diet… It sounds like the one your the most comfortable with and I think it’s not beneficial that your still feeling stressed on a new diet. Don’t stick to it by pride, just try to add more starch to your normal diet as you said and it will be just find :) Thank you for sharing this! Hope you’ll feel better!

    P.S do you think you could write an article about enema? I know it’s a pretty embarrassing subject, but I really want more info about it and don’t find a lot on the web…) Is that really beneficial? Could that help me with my acne? Thanks!

    • Tracy
      May 23, 2012 | 1:23 pm

      Thanks :) I guess I could do an enema article. haha. They could definitely have potential to help you with your acne. Personally I don’t love them, some people love enemas though.

  5. Lily
    May 23, 2012 | 1:15 pm

    Hi Tracy,

    I feel that you are perhaps putting a lot of pressure on yourself. After all, the way you eat doesn’t have to have a name. In a way it’s kinda like going from one polar opposite (restrictive) to another (slightly excessive, or ‘aggressive’ as he calls it), and the transition can’t be easy on your body. OK, maybe not polar opposites, but you know what I mean. If after 2 weeks you don’t feel right, then maybe your body’s telling you it isn’t. If you physically feel that a WAPF eating style with more starch is right for you, then it probably is. I don’t think that listening to your body means you’re a quitter. I’m sure you will reap much more benefits by eating something tailored to your own body’s needs than following a specific diet. Well, that’s just my opinion :) Love x

    • Tracy
      May 23, 2012 | 1:21 pm

      haha I was actually going to say something along this exact same line at the end of the article….. “I guess I should just eat whatever I want – not RRARF, or WAPF, just…. some kind of diet that doesn’t have a name. Tracy’s diet”. I do put pressure on myself, it’s true. It’s sort of weird having a blog and feeling like whatever you do matters, or at least is going to be put up to public scrutiny. It’s fun when your experiments go well, but not as fun when they don’t :D

  6. Christelle
    May 23, 2012 | 1:26 pm

    Agh, nutrition (again!)! RRARF sounds like a good way for people who are experiencing excessive guilt trips from dieting (and maybe falling off the wagon repeatedly) to reconcile with eating, psychologically. And also, it sounds like a good way to just get those calories, which I find to be a bit of a problem when you’re a health foodie. I love to eat well (I eat a kind-of paleo diet, but maybe with more whole grains), and I eat a lot of what I eat, but I’m very slim, and I still find it difficult just maintaining my bodyweight. So for that reason alone RRARF sounds interesting.

    However, the idea of eating massive amounts of carbs, and, well, eating whatever you crave for doesn’t sit right with me. Because, although I know that people who eat healthily tend to crave healthy foods, it’s also very tempting to grab a cookie when you’re hungry. I think that in order to do RRARF you have to trust deep down that what you’re craving is what your body needs. But, you know, if you take the example of a person with candida overgrowth, we all know only too well that that person will crave exactly the opposite of what he/she needs (i.e. sugar).

    I must admit though that GAPS wasn’t doing it for me either. I never did the intro, but I cooked GAPS-style recipes for about a month, with the bone broths & eggs etc, and I began to experience weird symptoms like heart palpitations and general “heaviness”. And I put that down to a hell of a lot of fat. I’ve read all the WA Price Foundation articles about cholesterol not being the root cause of heart disease, but I don’t know, I started to freak out after a few weeks on GAPS. So, to resume, I don’t know if your stomach troubles were caused solely by the lack of carbs on the GAPS diet – maybe you were just having a rough time processing all that fat.

    You know what, Tracy. They say balance is the key to everything (“they” being Chinese medicine, and Ayurvedic medicine, and… I mean, for centuries people have always believed that finding the right balance is the key to a healthy body and mind). I’m sure that somewhere between a Paleo/Primal diet and GAPS and RRARF there exists the perfect diet for you… maybe not for me, nor for other readers here, but a diet that doesn’t aggravate your acne, and/or digestive issues, and that makes you feel alive and well. The bad news is, you’ll never find it online. But that’s the beauty of holistic healing – what works for you does precisely because you are unique. Ha!

    And with that, I’m off to bed. Night night guys :-)

    • Tracy
      May 23, 2012 | 1:31 pm

      True words, sista :)

    • Maria
      May 24, 2012 | 2:21 pm

      I get the palpitations/heaviness on GAPS intro, and I also got them when I was just low-carb paleo–maybe it’s ketosis? It kinda sucks and makes it hard to sleep. I can eat plenty of fat but if I keep my carbs moderate instead of low, I’m set. That’s hard to do with mushy squash and carrots though, bleh.

      The doctors told me it was nothing to worry about back when I was doing low-carb, but still, I’m excited to add fruit back in ;)

  7. Kat
    May 23, 2012 | 1:58 pm

    Your body needs some time to adjust to the food you skipped for a longer time – it’s like when you are not used to eating beans and then eat a whole lot of them, they will definitely bother you in a not too good way – but if you increase the amount in steps, they very likely will not bother you at all.

    For your cold feet – have you tried ginger tea? It warms up the whole body from the inside out. It helps a lot when I feel really cold, or just my feet don’t want to warm up for whatever reason. If you drink it quite frequently, it might also help to raise your body temperature a bit?

    I personally don’t do real diets, but I stick to nutrition principles that are quite old – based TCM and Ayurveda. I believe that things that worked for such a long time really have value (and that I can trust them). I’m not really strict there, but just observe some general rules. If you are interested, I can tell you more about what works for me (but I’m not a specialist or anything like that).

    • Tracy
      May 24, 2012 | 7:54 am

      You’re right – I totally transitioned WAY too fast!

  8. Primal Toad
    May 23, 2012 | 4:01 pm

    Eat Paleo. Forget macronutrients though. Eat them potatoes. Why not enjoy a meal of potatoes and butter? Yum.

    Eat what you love. Eat what YOU know is healthy. Forget what everyone else says. You know there are foods out there that make YOU feel amazing. Focus on those. Veggies I’m guessing. Meat too. Maybe more starch so more potatoes. Maybe more fruit.

    Don’t be 100% strict. When you are preparing your food at home then you have no worries. When out with friends or family then just don’t worry. If you see something that you may like that is near Paleo then go for it.

    If you are out with a group of 10 folks who all get ice cream and you are thinking you want some too then get some.

    With friends who order pizza? Consider eating a slice or 2. Just eat slower. Don’t worry about how you feel later. Have fun. Enjoy life.

    If you think you need to “quit” then you probably do. Do what you think is best.

  9. LJ
    May 23, 2012 | 4:14 pm

    “Go back to your WAPF/paleoish diet that you were eating before, but with more starch then you were eating, because that seems to help your stomach”

    - I totally think this is the best idea! This is your ‘Tracy’ diet, like you mentioned in one of the comments…so you’re not stuffing yourself with difficult to digest grains which just tire you out, you’re eating starch in moderation but it’s importantly there in your diet.

    Good luck!!

    • Tracy
      May 24, 2012 | 7:47 am

      Thank :D

    • Shantess
      May 24, 2012 | 8:58 am

      I second LJ. If the paleo-ish diet mostly worked for you before and you felt generally good on it, then do that. I hear you on the stomach troubles though…I eat mostly paleo-ish too but have to throw in some whole grains every now and then just to keep things moving, ya know? Otherwise, I get tummy troubles. Frankly, (and I’m sure others may disagree) I don’t agree with the paleo claims that we weren’t meant to eat any grains. Originally that was probably true but our sysetms have adapted a lot since the beginning of time. If you look at the length of intestines of humans, they are exactly in between where carnivore animals and herbivore animals (who often grains!) are. Many scientists and nutritions believe this was adaptive to our diet.

      Anyway, point is, do what is good for YOU. Every body is different. For me, I would never consider doing RRARF due to the high amount of carbs…I have PCOS, which I’ve found is best kept in check (along with my blood sugar levels) by a low GI (low carb) diet. Too each their own :)

  10. Brian
    May 23, 2012 | 6:51 pm

    You probably have a fungal infection. Eczema, acne, stomach pains, brain fog…shit..check out Doug Kauffman. http://www.knowthecause.com. It makes the most sense to me and I even have some success when I follow his diet theory.

    • Tracy
      May 24, 2012 | 7:49 am

      I really do think I have like… candida/fungus sort of issues… and likely parasites as well, that are probably a contributing factor here. For now, I’m not going to do a specific diet, but I will definitely check it out – I had a slight look over it – is it similar to the candida diet?

  11. Brian
    May 23, 2012 | 6:52 pm

    also. check out Paul Chek. Google him.

  12. Kim
    May 23, 2012 | 9:00 pm

    Are you also doing the candida cleanse with this or is that on hold?

    • Tracy
      May 24, 2012 | 7:51 am

      No, i’m not doing that right now.. I wanted to try different things (ie the GAPS) to see if something else worked better. Experimenting :) Now I’m just going to do no diet for a while, but it’s likely I will do another candida cleanse sometime in the future since I know it seems work well for me

      • Sampson
        May 25, 2012 | 4:05 am

        It’s interesting that in this video you said food doesn’t really give you too much pleasure anymore.

        Maybe that’s the goal of RRARF: to completely detach you from the emotional bond and shackles to food. Isn’t that the most paleo diet thing of all? We do all this shit to food nowadays. Cook it until it’s melted down into gelatin, add ACV to remove phytates, add salt and pepper and cumin and rosemary to taste, let it cool for 2 hours on the counter, ferment for another 24 hours, steam for 15 minutes, cut into thin strips, coat in olive oil, dice into small pieces, etc. etc.
        I doubt we were meant to spend this much time on food preparation.

        Maybe that’s a good way to get rid of the stress about food – by completely getting rid of emotional attachment to it and treating it as just what it is. I find that when I’m fasting for an extended period of time, food doesn’t occupy my mind at all and if I do get hungry I definitely don’t crave anything “bad.”

        I love cooking and making nice meals, but perhaps the “cure” to these common orthorexic feelings is simply to stop putting the food on a pedestal and view it as nothing more than required sustenance.

        • Tracy
          May 25, 2012 | 10:55 am

          haha this is exactly what I WAS thinking – but then I found via RRARF out that I actually enjoy doing all that shit to my food and caring about it and its quality etc… because it’s become my hobby. I just posted an article/video about this so you can go read what I mean :)

  13. Laura
    May 24, 2012 | 7:12 am

    I couldn’t watch the video because I’m in work right now, but it’s great that you’re finding out what’s helping your stomach troubles and realising that the way you were eating was very suitable for you. I think the fact that you’re experimenting like this is commendable anyway, but as other people are saying, the stress of sticking to one diet and another doesn’t seem to help things along for you. You will figure it out eventually and I think you’ve done an amazing job of figuring things out so far – your skin certainly looks good to me :)

    • Tracy
      May 24, 2012 | 7:53 am

      Thanks Laura :) I think it’s definitely time that I stop thinking about food for a while and start focusing more on emotional healing techniques…. I admit to finding it easier to want to control my food then really put the effort into healing emotionally

  14. Amy
    May 24, 2012 | 8:10 am

    Also have you ever tried medicinal herbs for your digestion/getting rid of moulds/candida and parisites. Looks like its the one area you haven’t experiemented with. I do suggest going to a professional though with lots of experience because herbs can be strong/not something to play with.
    They can stimulate all your organs to work better and strengthen your body to be able to fight off things like parasites and fungi that we all ingest a lot of every day. If your digestion system is weakened then its not going to be able to fight these things off and they are going to take over slightly which is what I suspect has happened to you. Diet can help but i feel in no way can it be used to ‘cure’ these problems and messing around with lots of different diets can really mess things up more in the long run (i find).

    • Tracy
      May 24, 2012 | 5:42 pm

      Hi Amy – actually you’re spot on there for what I’ve been thinking – I can feel there are problems going on with fungi/candida/parasites or whatever. Seems obvious by my past candida issues, and the symptoms I got when I quit GAPS, and the ongoing brain fog too… I feel like I’ve “stirred something up”, if you know what I mean. Which I’m kinda regretting now :/
      I’ve been looking into a doing an herbal parasite cleanse, and I ordered Humaworm – have you heard of it?

    • Amy
      May 27, 2012 | 10:35 am

      hey – i haven’t heard of it but looking it up now it seems like there is ALOT of herbs in it. I do recoginse some that im taking..the only thing that worries me about hummaworm is that there is Cascara Sagrada and Senna which are both pretty aggresive laxatives (i find) also it has peppermint, which if you do have any ulcers or sensitivity in your digestive tract/acid reflux ect it can really be irritatting/make things worse. I would actually be tempeted to go for the childs one because it seems a lot more gentle and i worry that you may get some pretty strong side effects from the adult one. Also Cayenne can be very irritating if you have a sensitive/weakened digestive tract. Would be interesting to see how you get on though. How long do you have to take these herbs for?

      • Tracy
        May 28, 2012 | 11:41 am

        Hi Amy – you take it for thirty days. Apparently the amount of senna and cascara sagrada in it is very low compared to the recommended amount for constipated people… does still worry me though :/ I have already ordered it but I haven’t completely decided yet if I will take it or not.

  15. Sampson
    May 25, 2012 | 3:56 am

    Tracy, after some snooping around, I think I figured out when NCM is coming out with her 2nd book (September.)

    And hang in there Tracy, I think your palpitations and general ickiness were due to you entering Ketosis. I hope one day in the future you stick with GAPS for a bit longer until you get into deep ketosis and see if you don’t feel better overnight.

    I know I definitely stirred something up and had a MAJOR detox reaction recently after I started taking regular epsom salt baths. I broke out in hives from neck to toe (my head wasn’t in the water which would explain why I didn’t get hives on my face) during one of these baths. I don’t know if they were hives actually because I’ve never had hives, but they looked like raised, red blisters that didn’t itch.

    I recently had some wheat and alcohol for the first time in a while at a party and it just reinforced the fact that my body just does not jive with wheat (going off wheat/grains seems to have caused a hypersensitive reaction to it now so my body REALLY lets me know it doesn’t like wheat now.)

    I pretty much completely quit alcohol as well. It’s just not worth it (for me.) The only alcohol I get now is the small amount in my ferments.

    • Tyler
      August 28, 2012 | 9:36 am

      I am curious about this reaction as well. Would it be that any food eliminated from the diet for a period of time would cause such a reaction. If you don’t eat starch your body would most likely down regulate amylase, or if you stop eating dairy down regulate the enzyme lactase…etc. Is it really the wheat or the fact that you stopped eating it for so long? Basically I always worried about paleo if you are CREATING intolerances or if you are becoming “hypersensitive” to what intolerances already existed. Do you have any idea Sampson?

  16. BRian
    May 25, 2012 | 6:58 am

    Hey Tracy, your not alone. Im 24, ten years of acne struggles, a year and a half of food neurosis and dieting. Fungi, parasites, good bacteria, bad bacteria, high carb, low carb, paleo, fruititarian..shit..its overwhelming. I know its easier said then done, but I think maybe we just need to forget about it all. Maybe if when we had our first teenage breakout, we didnt rush to the store to buy all that harsh stuff, things would have never escalated to the point its at now..maybe if we never had the internet to tell us what the perfect way to eat is, we would have never developed such terrible digestive issues as well. The point is..we are where we are now..and maybe we should just start listening to our bodies, our intuition, and nothing else. Maybe we should just go to a traditional MD/psychologist.
    But to tell you the truth, I Really dont know what to think anymore. All I know is that im tired of it all. UGH.
    What do you think?

    BUt I dont “know” anything.

  17. BRian
    May 25, 2012 | 7:01 am

    basically what sampson said.

  18. Tina
    May 26, 2012 | 7:14 pm

    Hi Tracy,
    I’m glad to hear yout stomach troubles are improving. This RRARF diet, and I’ve not read too much up on it, but isn’t the idea to eat whatever you feel like? And if so can’t you still put together your paleo dishes that you enjoy(plus starches on top if u fancy it)? So long as you look after yourself in all areas, not just the diet side of things, it shouldall come together :) I tried reflexology the other day for my acne and hadn’t figured on it being so enjoyable (I almost floated off the table I was so relaxed!) It took the emphasis off looking after myself solely through diet alone. Makes things easier when you balance it out. P.s. I’m loving your biking idea. I may have to steal it even..! ;)

    • Tracy
      May 27, 2012 | 9:18 am

      Hi Tina – yes you are supposed to eat whatever you want (although he does seem to emphasize starch a bit), but you are also supposed to make sure you are eating LOTS of it. And not exercise very much. Anyway, I already feel a lot better physically and mentally now that I’ve switched back to my regular WAPF/paleo style diet and I’m just not eating so much.

      Anyway – that is something that I’ve learned through all this – a reminder that diet is not all there is. Emotional health is just as important!

  19. em
    June 16, 2012 | 7:48 pm

    people do well on either high fat (poleo/cavemen) type diets or low fat (vegetarian/okinawa) diets. Problems begin when you have lots of fat and lots of carb together in a diet (even if both are the good kind) that is where your hyperglycemia, lethargy and skin problems start. If you are staying on this diet where you eat from all food groups (which i think is a good idea) I suggest you decrease your fat to about 15% of your total calories. if in your breakfast alone you have fats from dairy, coconut oil and seeds…too much!

  20. foofoo
    July 3, 2012 | 11:41 pm

    tracy,

    please stop giving all of your power away to experts.

    you know what to do and what is best for you.

    matt stone is a bit of a hypocrite and needs to stop creating ‘diets’. diets are exactly what he criticizes.

    you sound exhausted and maybe have some endocrine issues to deal with.

  21. Josefina
    July 11, 2012 | 4:30 am

    I just wanted to comment on your lack of appetite on the “diet”. I’m snooping around Matt’s blog at the moment for info on hypothyroidism and I did come across a post from 2009 where he basically says his appetite is gone after a month of overfeeding.
    I think the point with overfeeding is to eventually get to the point where you no longer need those extra calories, at which point you’re ready to move on to eating to appetite only. For you that was 2 weeks, for someone else maybe the full month. I don’t think there’s a set number of days for this program at all. Just an average.
    Just guessing of course.

    There are so many other aspects to a healthy thyroid, if you find that the overfeeding alone doesn’t suffice. Like getting enough nutrients, esp iodine, but also sleep and all the other stuff you probably know about already.

    I was relieved to hear about your digestive improvement on the diet! Just last week I was contemplating GAPS, but then came across Matt’s post on it and realized why my gut has been averse to the idea of avoidance. For the past 15 years I’ve done nothing but avoid certain aggravating foods, and the list has only grown longer and longer. Now I have so many food intolerances (some of which are probably just imagined, but how to tell) I’m a bit afraid of biting the bullet and going down the path of overfeeding. But of course I have a whole array of hypothyroid symptoms (since childhood). At least I’ve finally concluded that my digestive issues aren’t simply due to a lack of gut flora, but has deeper roots.

    • Tracy
      July 11, 2012 | 1:40 pm

      Hi Josefina – yes, that very well may be the case … either way, it’s been a couple months since my RRARF experiment and I’m feeling much better. And once thing I really did learn from all this is to stop being so strict and worrisome about my food… I have experienced what he says about “just eat food, and eventually you will find that you don’t really crave the bad stuff because it isn’t “taboo” anymore”. I have become a lot more lenient with my food and stopped worrying, and just eat things, and I really do find that I still gravitate my way toward whole food. And if I want to eat ice cream, I do! And I can enjoy it instead of feeling guilty! So far it doesn’t seem like it’s made much difference to my skin – I think my remaining mild acne is due to hormones, the same ones that cause many, many, many adult women to suffer from mild acne around the chin. So there’s not much point in getting stricter and stricter if it does nothing!

      Anyway…. I am really grateful to Matt Stone. After reading his philosophies, I’ve pretty much quit frequenting health and food blogs, which feels pretty freeing. Life isn’t all about food anymore. And I must say, I am SO stoked that I didn’t have to GAPS (and that eating a variety of food and starches, instead of cutting them out, seems to be the answer to my tummy issues).

  22. Josefina
    July 11, 2012 | 3:13 pm

    I’m glad to hear you’re doing better. I did read your update about where you’re at with your diet now. It sounds great.

    There was a time when I also felt guilty about food choices and I wish I still had that luxury! I’ve been through a few bouts of who knows what-type crippling symptoms (adrenal exhaustion/low thyroid maybe) that have taken months to heal each time, and it seems most foods trigger hypoglycemia and stomach issues, so I avoid them. I eat a very limited diet now because I’m terrified of getting sick again. But I know it isn’t healthy, that I’m missing vital nutrients and it sure isn’t much fun or easy to deal with when trying to live a normal life. And now my lifelong digestive issues are worsening, so I feel like I need to stop hiding in my food prison and just start eating. Just scared of failing.

    I also have the chin type acne, I’m 34, and it’s annoying and embarrassing. It’s been a little better since the beginning of summer. Not sure why, perhaps the sun. Well actually, I think it’s due to not having to get up early in the morning, since I’m home and now my kid is on summer break. I had the same positive result a year ago when I decided to take mornings off from my own school! My skin was really clear with the extra sleep. But then my teacher threatened to withhold my diploma if I didn’t start showing up in the mornings, and my acne returned big time. I also think my clear skin had to do with doing something positive and meaningful in life (starting a textile school and being surrounded by like-minded people). For me, it really seems that a clear skin goes hand in hand with a healthy thyroid function, which according to Matt seems to have a lot to do with how all the other hormones function. Since puberty I’ve had PCOS type symptoms, as well as low thyroid from as far back as I can remember. I think this has a lot to do with my acne. My mother also had the same thing (low thyroid, acne, PCOS) until menopause. And my grandma… who even had her thyroid removed after the stillbirth of her second child.

    It’s all very interesting stuff, and I’m learning so much right now! Thanks for listening.

    • PC
      July 26, 2012 | 7:23 am

      I suffer the same problems as you. I believe I have hypoglycemia, and I seem to react to almost every food I eat. It’s got to the point where I am scared to eat anything. But I am also underweight (have been since I started the GAPS diet) and can’t afford to lose anymore, so I’m going to have to force myself to eat more regardless of the reactions. It’s so confusing trying to figure it all out isn’t it?

      I recently discovered the FODMAPS diet which seems to explain why some foods cause bloating, have you heard of it?

  23. jim
    October 6, 2012 | 10:52 am

    If you were lethargic and had brain fog it was probably because you were a little insulin resistant. I had that at first but this past week i’ve had white rice 2 times a day and it has made all the difference in the world, no brain fog or lethargy, i just feel great.

    • Tracy
      October 7, 2012 | 7:34 am

      Hi Jim – so you did RRARF, and felt really tired at first, but then you snapped out of it? Is that what you’re saying? And that RRARF really will fix insulin resistance?

  24. Julie
    March 26, 2013 | 7:38 am

    Personally, I think that all of these restrictive diets are pointless. Everyone online seems to be an expert, throwing advice around as if their particular rules were set in stone. I discovered this after looking online for advice on how to naturally lower TSH levels – I had no idea there would be so much misleading information. One “expert” will say that meat and fats, with low carbs, is the ONLY way to go. The next will say to eat vegan. The next will tell you cod liver oil, and then you get on another site and they’re saying it’s poison. Ray Peat thinks vegetables are toxic but refined sugar is excellent – go figure.
    The most balanced book I have found on nutrition so far is Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, but even that I don’t follow religiously. I try to take the best out of anything I’ve read, and whatever makes me feel best is what goes. Whatever information is junk, I treat as such and toss out. Paleo and Ray Peat related stuff fall under the junk category for me, among others.
    What I like about Nourishing Traditions is that it doesn’t restrict entire food groups and praises the value of nearly every food. Some people think that because she doesn’t promote veganism that she doesn’t promote plant food consumption but that’s false. She just thinks that at least a bit of animal based foods will provide better health for those who choose to consume a vegetable and grain-based diet. But overall, she promotes a wholesome, broad-spectrum, varied diet. The only things she suggests we avoid are junky, refined, GMO foods.
    My opinion is that a good foundation diet will allow anyone to eat crappy food here and there, without any real issues. It seems like the more restrictive a person is, the less healthy they become and with more food sensitivities. Stop eating a food group for a while and of course, the body will likely react badly if exposed to it. Not that I think we should be eating junk all the time – just not being so scared of food in general. Pretty much everything we eat is good in some way and not so good in another way, just like exercising and the act of eating itself. If we keep worrying about every tiny little reaction, we become scared to do anything!
    Anyway, a bit of a tangent there – all the best on your journey to wellness :)

    • Tracy
      March 26, 2013 | 9:34 am

      I agree with you completely Julie. And Weston A Price/Sally Fallon style eating has always been my baseline as the thing that makes the most sense, and is the least restrictive. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment :)

  25. Poli
    April 12, 2013 | 8:26 am

    Tracy, I can see the post is very old and that is why I am very curious where you are now on the nutrition pyramid. High carb, low carb? gluten free, starch free, dairy free? How did the RRARF experiment end? It is always interesting to get feedback on some experiments after some time passes. Looking forward to your responce.
    Thanks

    • Tracy
      April 12, 2013 | 4:26 pm

      Hi Poli!
      I just totally relaxed my food after this. I don’t restrict myself much. I eat all food groups of real good. I try to avoid gluten at home, but I still eat it because I pretty much eat whatever now when I’m with friends and family and, well… gluten pops up a lot. Yep :)

  26. Nathan
    June 25, 2013 | 11:23 am

    I’m just starting out with this type of eating, after realising that I have a very slow metabolism and hypothyroidism. I didn’t know what those really meant, but after re-reading “Eat for Heat”, I have many of the symptoms. Cold feet and the most prominent issues and have had this problem for over 4 years!

    I’m planning on eating larger amounts of boxed carbs (gluten free cereals) and lots of raw goat milk. I find that fruit is way too cooling for me, despite how much I love it. I’m still eating 90% wholefoods, but need to work on balancing my fluids and EATING FOR HEAT!!!

    These articles really help me Tracy. Thank you.

  27. Rachel
    September 24, 2013 | 9:34 am

    I tried RRARF about a year ago, but I was so scared of food that the stress made it impossible. I’m doing it again (just started three days ago) but this time I’m eating ice cream, lasagna, pizza and I feel better than I’ve ever felt! I’m also allowing myself to sleep as much as I need to and I’m really taking care of myself–and it’s working!
    Everything except the ice cream is homemade so I am making sure the food I eat is nutrient dense and hormone free, but I’m eating sugar, etc. and my hypoglycemia is the best it’s ever been! My mood has already improved. I’m just so grateful! I eat what I want when I want to without judgement and I’m Enjoying food for the first time since childhood! I’m eating coconut oil, fruit, veggies, animal proteins, and “healthy” things like that as well; really, it’s just about eating enough and listening to my body. I think getting out of my head and just eating to satiety, because it’s great to eat and to be alive, is making all the difference. Thanks for introducing me to Matt Stone and his principles! I hope life is great for your Tracy, so much love! <3

    • Tracy
      September 24, 2013 | 10:47 am

      Hey Rachel, that’s so awesome that you’ve come such a long way in your mindset and you’re feeling great! I’m also so happy that I discovered Matt Stone, he really helped me get over that food mania state of mind

  28. Rachel
    September 24, 2013 | 11:02 am

    Hey Tracy,

    Thanks! I’m glad he helped you too :-) :-)

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